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Figure out your smartphone’s data plan before it’s too late

You don’t think how much data you use when you fire up an app or send an email. But the days of unlimited data usage on smartphones are ending. New AT&T and Verizon subscribers must now choose a limited data plan. Exceeding your monthly data allotment will cost you.

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Both carriers offer a basic, 2-gigabyte plan. Most users will opt for this. What can you do with 2GB of data transfer? Let’s take a look.

Video

Video is one of the worst offenders when it comes to data usage. It doesn’t matter if you’re streaming videos from YouTube or video chatting. It will really tax your data plan.

One minute of YouTube-quality video uses about two megabytes of data. Watch a half-hour television show daily, and you could exceed your data plan. Don’t let your smartphone become your substitute for television. And save the videos for Wi-Fi whenever possible.

Music

Streaming audio uses much less data than video. However, it is more dangerous. You listen to music when you’re working or taking a run. It’s easy to lose track of how long you’re listening.

Suppose you listen to two hours daily. You’ll reach your monthly data limit. If you must listen to streaming music, stick to Wi-Fi connections. Of course, smartphones offer ample storage for music files. Load your own music and refresh the selection periodically.

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